Treat all local football clubs equally

Sports Cabinet secretary Rashid Echesa was quoted on Thursday saying that the ministry will clear outstanding allowances for AFC Leopards players. While it is good to bail out long-suffering players, if the minister fulfills his promise, he would have set a bad precedence. Firstly, the problem at AFC Leopards is not lack of money, but lack of leadership. The club has a shirt sponsor and with good leadership, they should mobilise more money to run their activities.

Instead, top club leadership have abdicated their responsibilities and Mr Echesa is not making things better by coming to their rescue. Secondly, If Leopards are bailed out, every club in the SportPesa Premier League would be justified and have a reason to run to the ministry for a bail out as well.

What makes Leopards special and not Mathare United or Kariobangi Sharks? The clubs were birthed in populated areas and affect thousands of youth. Why should they not get State help? The CS can be accused of playing politics and this move could be viewed as designed to win political favour with a certain community.

If he really cared about AFC Leopards and Kenyan club football for that matter, he should ensure the Sports Fund is operational. The ministry owes federations and suppliers money and such resources should be directed towards clearing such debts, instead of giving political handouts. Harambee Starlets players and Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne, are all owed money by the ministry. That is the debt that should be prioritised.

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Rashid EchesaSportsAFC LeopardsMathare United